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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Dec 15, 2010 5:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: The First Live Dark Star?

Does anyone no which show has the first Dark Star? If you go to Deadlists it has a few studio versions from late 1967 and several unknown venue shows:

11/14/67 American Studios North Hollywood CA
11/14/67 American Studios North Hollywood CA
??/??/68 Unknown Venue Unknown Unknown
??/??/68 Unknown Venue Unknown Unknown
??/??/68? Unknown Venue Unknown Unknown
1/17/68 Carousel Ballroom San Francisco CA

The unknown venue shows appear to be later in '68 or perhaps even ''69 since St. Stephen is also performed.

The first one listed from a known show is 1-17-68

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1968-01-17.sbd.cotsman.11795.shnf

However when you go to this show it seems to indicate that the it has the first China Cat Sunflower, Eleven and Born-Crosseyed but does not acknowledge the first Dark Star. Is this because of the studio versions from '67 or was there a live Dark Star before this? Thanks in advance for any light shed on the subject.

If you decide to check out this quick little Dark Star, be sure to stick around for the 15 mins of Spanish Jam bliss.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Dec 15, 2010 7:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

According to Blair Jackson, Dark Star was born in September 1967 in Rio Nido. Hunter said: "I was in my cabin. They were rehearsing in the hall and you could hear from there. I heard the music and just started writing Dark Star... I wrote the first half and I went in and handed what I'd written to Jerry. He said 'Oh this will fit just fine...' He goes on to say that he finished writing it 'a couple of days, or weeks' later. First performance is said to have been 'Fall 67'. I guess keeping a diary wasn't high on anyone's agenda back then.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Dec 15, 2010 7:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

It fits a kind of romantic motif that we don't know when it first appeared . Like Athena being born out of Zeus's head it appears on 1/17 , but something has been going on for awhile . Something mysterious and strange .

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Dec 15, 2010 8:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

It seems to me one of them said something like that - I don't remember where but maybe in the David Dodds lyrics book? That Dark Star is "always going on somewhere," doesn't really have a beginning or end, it's more like a place you enter that is actually always there even when you're not. So it sort of makes sense if there is no known "first" or the date it was written is not known.

Of course from one point of view that's all acid-fueled bullshit, but anyway ...

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

Charles Reich: Well then if we wanted to talk about "Dark Star," uh, could you say anything about where it comes from?

Jerry Garcia: You gotta remember that you and I are talking about two different "Dark Stars." You're talking about the "Dark Star" which you have heard formalized on a record, and I'm talking about the "Dark Star" which I have heard in each performance as a completely improvised piece over a long period of time. So I have a long continuum of "Dark Star" which range in character from each other to real different extremes. "Dark Star" has meant, while I'm playing it, almost as many things as I can sit here and imagine, so all I can do is talk about "Dark Star" as a playing experience.

Charles Reich: Well, yeah, talk about it a little.

Jerry Garcia: I can't. It talks about itself.


Garcia: A Signpost to a New Space

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

That's not the passage I'm thinking of. I'll look it up when I get home if I have time, but I'm not actually sure where I read it. (Though I haven't really read that much, compared to some of you, so there aren't many possibilities ... most likely the lyrics book or Phil's book.)

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

It was Tom Constanten who said that Dark Star had no beginning or ending, but was always 'there', and you don't start it so much as enter it.
Here's a collection of his quotes about Dark Star:

"The thing that I liked about [Dark Star] is the proportion of how much it gives you in terms of places to explore, relative to the effort it takes to maintain. It is especially favorable to the performer."

"It's like Dark Star was always there. Like the Clouds of Illusion... It’s remarkably easy to fly. [In another number,] all the way through, you’re counting, preparing, concentrating. No time to enjoy the magic. Dark Star is the opposite. You can relax, even enjoy it from the listener’s point of view, cackle over what you’re planning to spring on them, listen, interact..."

"Certain motifs were integrated over time, almost like an 'aural tradition.' I viewed the piece not so much as something written out, but as a galaxy that would be entered at any of several places... Every performance would be unique... On the best Dark Stars there were a lot of one-of-a-kind moments that were completely spontaneous."

"They were exploratory ventures... It's not so much a set piece, that you know where you are in it and know where you're gonna go, as you're out on an ocean in a boat, and you can choose your landmarks and respond to things and move in certain directions as you wish - of course, always interacting... It's the opposite of what I call the Android Jukebox Syndrome, which you can do wearing a tie and a happy face and you need not be mentally present - which is exactly what we weren't interested in."

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Dec 15, 2010 7:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

So it could the theme could have shown up somewhere in the playing on 9-4-67 although not likely that they played the song. Unfortunately we only have 5 min or so of tape from that show.

btw nice to see you around these parts.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Dec 15, 2010 8:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

I'd say that it was entirely possible and certainly likely that Garcia had been noodling around with what would become the Dark Star groove before Hunter got involved lyrically. Though Garcia did say say that 'the reason the music is the way it is, is because those lyrics did suggest that to me' - so there was definitely a good bit of creative cross-fertilization going on there.

And thanks - its encouraging to see you around too!

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Dec 15, 2010 8:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

more encouraging if i took the time to proofread my writing i suppose....

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Dec 15, 2010 8:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

It's ok - I'm good at deciphering. :-)

Found this in the Grateful Dead Family Discography:

"Dark Star was the first lyric that Robert Hunter wrote with the Dead. He had previously sent a few lyrics to them from New Mexico and was then invited to join them. Hunter describes the journey in the introduction to his collected lyrics Box Of Rain;

The trip took six weeks with a surreal layover in Denver. By the time I hit Nevada I had a dime in my pocket which I put in a slot machine and parlayed into enough to make a phone call and tell the guys I was on my way. I arrived in San Francisco with a case of walking pneumonia and the clothes on my back. The next day I was writing Dark Star, feeling pretty much as the lyric suggests.

The initial lyrics were written at Rio Nido where the Dead were playing when Hunter joined them.

The single version of Dark Star was recorded in the studio during the recordings sessions for Anthem Of The Sun [so that would be September/October 67]. Robert Hunter speaks the words at the close of the song.

Dark Star was first performed, without lyrics, by the Grateful Dead in September 1967. The first version with lyrics was in the December of that year."

So 12/13/67 at the Shrine sounds most plausible for a first outing of Dark Star as we came to know it.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Dec 15, 2010 8:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

Outstanding work!!

Some friends from Miami gave me a bottle of Lagavulin for my birthday. Since I can't share a glass with you, i will at least enjoy one in your honour. Perhaps this Spring.

Got distracted by work before sending this out and got your 9-3-67 post, I gave Dancin' a listen. Jerry hits a couple of notes that sure sound like they would fit well in Dark Star but I would be hard-pressed to call this a Dark Star Jam.

I like this review of the show:
Reviewer: KindRainbowBrother - - October 10, 2005
Subject: What a drippy, trippy funky groove
I remember this show really well because I actually gave Jerry a lift to the Dance Hall. I told him all I wanted was a really killer Midnight Hour. It's shows like these that are reason we LOVE this band. Stellar performance by every member. (Oh and I was one and half in Sept. 1967 so my driving was pretty bad)

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Dec 15, 2010 8:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star - September 3 1967?

http://www.archive.org/details/gd67-09-03.sbd.backus.17272.sbeok.shnf

This is from the Rio Nido Dance Hall. Give a listen to what Garcia is doing from about 2 minutes 30 seconds into Dancing In The Streets - there's definitely something happening there, don't you think?

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star - September 3 1967?

Drop yourself in at about the 3:12 mark and tell me what song you hear? It isn't Dancin'..........and the plot thickens.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star - September 3 1967?

"That was the first song I wrote with the Grateful Dead. We were down in Rio Nido, and I heard them playing it in the hall they were going to play. I just started scratching paper and got the Dark Star crashes, pouring its light into ashes' part and I said, 'Why don't you try this with it?' It worked well, and then they wanted more verses. I finished up the second set of verses back in San Francisco. I got up-I was staying at 710 Ashbury-one morning fairly early, about 10:30 or 11, and stumbled over to the Panhandle ay Golden Gate Park. I was sitting there, getting stuck on a verse, when along came a hippie who handed me a joint. He asked me what I was doing, and I said I was writing a song called 'Dark Star.' He said, 'Oh.' That's pretty much the story."

Robert Hunter on Dark Star to Jeff Tamarkin - From Relix (1986)

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Dec 15, 2010 10:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star - September 3 1967?

Pretty much the story as quoted by Blair Jackson in Garcia: An American Life.

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Poster: Mandojammer Date: Dec 15, 2010 10:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star - September 3 1967?

......and the plot now thins?

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Dec 15, 2010 10:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star - September 3 1967?

Kind of like my hair in that case...

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star - September 3 1967?

Indubitably, Holmes!

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Poster: TOOTMO Date: Dec 15, 2010 7:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

Oliver Trager seconds your source, sir.

Mr. Trager goes on to say that

"Hunter's lyrics recall a twisted and psychedelic take on T.S. Eliot's 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'. For example, Eliot's lines 'Let us go then, you and I, while the evening is spread out aginst the sky like a patient etherised upon a table'..."

Considering that Mr. Hunter is a poet as well as a lyricist, it seems highly unlikely that he would not be aware of the opening English lines of TLSOJAP.

TOOTMO

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Dec 15, 2010 8:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

And if he was aware of them, he certainly improved upon them, in my view.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

You're not seriously suggesting that Hunter 'improved' Eliot? I doubt very much you'd ever hear him make that claim, fangirl!

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

I'm definitely suggesting that in this case he improved on Eliot. (If that was even the origin or source, which I don't think anyone has claimed for sure.) Is there some reason Eliot can't be improved on? I certainly don't think that. I'm not a fangirl of Hunter's lyrics by any means; I like some but others are pretty lame.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: Dec 15, 2010 10:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

If you haven't heard "Flight of the Marie Helena," check it out. It's Hunter's truly ambitious head-on assault on Eliot (among other things) and ... fail. The Wasteland, and possibly Dark Star, will live forever; FOTMH, not so much.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Dec 16, 2010 4:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

Haven't but will check it out, thanks.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

Each to their own naturally. I don't suppose Eliot could have come up with a halfway decent song lyric, but he was incontestably the better poet. In all honesty I'd say that any connection between Hunter's Dark Star and Eliot's Prufrock is more down to wishful thinking than anything else, but the line

"The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels"

is somewhat suggestive of Stella Blue, don't you think?

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

Praise be to Nero’s Neptune
The Titanic sails at dawn
And everybody’s shouting
“Which Side Are You On?”
And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
Fighting in the captain’s tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers
Between the windows of the sea
Where lovely mermaids flow
And nobody has to think too much
About Desolation Row


Hey, just got email yesterday re 8 Live Mojo tracks - will forward same to your attention in next few days.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

Thank you, B. Much appreciated!

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

"any connection between Hunter's Dark Star and Eliot's Prufrock is more down to wishful thinking"

I think that's right.
Yeah, the resemblance to Stella is interesting!

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Poster: vapors Date: Dec 15, 2010 12:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

I recently began a journey through 1968, with special attention to the development of Dark Star. The question you ask has been on my mind also, yet as no recorded evidence is available I have been content to preview what is available here on archive.
This link, which you guys all know I am sure, has been a good companion reader:
http://deadessays.blogspot.com/2009/08/dark-star-1968.html

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Dec 15, 2010 9:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

I'm pretty sure the first live Dark Star was sometime in late '67...almost certainly after the November Shrine shows. (They didn't play it at those shows, and they only recorded it in November, while they were staying in LA.)
So 12/13/67, wherever that date came from, is as likely a date as any for the 'first' time.
It would almost certainly be a short, brisk version, possibly even briefer & closer to the single than the early '68 incarnations. It's possible that, since Dark Star was so short, they simply didn't play it live til they had more songs to add to it... (Did you ever hear, for instance, a standalone Born Cross-eyed?)

My feeling is the China Cat>Eleven medley was added in January '68, but December '67 is also possible. (There are hardly any medleys in '67, and all of a sudden nonstop medleys in '68.)
The early China Cat story is even more intriguing; the Eleven was originally a continuation of the same song, and only after March '68 did they get split up - then China Cat disappeared for a year while the Eleven prospered!

I do believe in that 9/3/67 Dancing, you get a taste of what those Rio Nido embryonic Dark Star rehearsals sounded like.
A couple quotes from my post:

"It's hard to imagine what it might have sounded like in its initial incarnation, born out of some nebulous September '67 jam - a peaceful moment among the distorted, rough & tumble jams of the 9/3/67 show. But in Dancing in the Street, Garcia's solo is in the lyrical Dark Star mode (sometimes almost quoting the melody), prefiguring the Stars to be. There's a huge advance since the last Dancing we have from 3/18/67 - the band has slowed the song down and made room for more interaction in the jam, and Garcia is using much more space in his notes."

"It's been said that the Dead intended Dark Star from the first to have an open-ended jam between verses, but this is in hindsight. When they took it on the road in early '68, it was still extremely close to the studio version - Garcia had a guitar solo worked out, but it was a 'composed' solo that was pretty much the same from night to night... Dark Star still closely follows the format of the studio version - fast & peppy & filled with Pigpen's repeated organ riff. [etc...]"

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Dec 15, 2010 5:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

12/13/67 Shrine Aud?

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Dec 15, 2010 5:45am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

I looked up that date and deadlists says this:

Band: Grateful Dead
Date: 12/13/67 - Wednesday
Location: Shrine Auditorium - Los Angeles, CA
cut(s)

Comments: DeadBase X lists Dark Star as being played here. a floorplan of the Shrine Auditorium is available at this site: http://www.laonstage.com/directory/shrinechart.html
Recordings: None In circulation as of 1998.

So that could be correct, unfortunately it does not appear to circulate. Thanks.

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Poster: fireeagle Date: Dec 15, 2010 6:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

http://www.archive.org/post/171307/first-dark-star

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Dec 15, 2010 7:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

How do we really know about that June 28 , '67 date ?
Do we have any evidence ?
Even the Shrine Dec. '67 date , which I assumed b/c of DB .
What proof do we have outside of 1/17/68 ?
I likes me that first China Cat , and do go to Iberia , it's wonderful .

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Dec 15, 2010 7:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

that setlist program is garbage... just filled with misinformation. the eleven and clementine were not even performed in 1967, so we can't trust that 6/28/67 was the first DS.

i agree w/ Cliff and Elbow that the first performance is probably 12/13/67 but since there is no recording we'll never know for sure...

This post was modified by clementinescaboose on 2010-12-15 15:28:08

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Dec 15, 2010 6:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The First Live Dark Star?

Thanks, although there is no way the first one on that list is correct, at least not for that date. Here are the comments:

Comments:

Dark Star-1st one according to this site.
-Perrinswolf (07/05/2007)

who the made this up? It is not real.
-Charlie Miller (06/13/2008), charliemiller87@yahoo.com

This is total crap
-Ben S (05/04/2009)

The second one is this show
http://www.archive.org/details/gd67-09-04.sbd.partial.jools.19514.19526.sbeok.shnf
I don't think they played a dark star either